Hey, guys! It’s Monday, so it’s time for a Muse! And it’s also October 30th, which means it’s just about time for NaNoWriMo!
First of all, though: Happy Halloween to everyone! Well, I guess mostly our American listeners, since apparently the rest of the world hasn’t caught on to this most awesome of holidays. Guys. Dressing up. Trick or Treating. Scary things! The Nightmare Before Christmas and Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! HOW DO YOU NOT HAVE HALLOWEEN, PEOPLE?!
*cough* Sorry. I love Halloween. And I’m deeply unhappy with the fact that, because of my current living situation, I can’t go all out like I want to. Also… I have no friends within event-sharing distance, so that also puts a damper on things. But it’s OK. I shall persevere!
I shall also head to Target on Wednesday and buy candy because it’ll be on sale and because it’ll be the first day of NaNo, and I always allow myself candy and snacks during NaNo.
Oh, that seems like a natural segue into NaNo! Once again, let’s talk about NaNo set-ups. You know… getting that writing spot set up so you’re ready and raring to go when the day comes (you know…Wednesday) to begin churning out that 50k. Because… you do know it’s best to get as far ahead as possible in the early days, right? Shit is always going to go down, and if you’re American, you know that last week of November is terrible for sitting down to focus on your writing, even if it’s only for 30 minutes a day. Plus, that second-week slump is real.
IT IS REAL, Y’ALL!
So. Here are some things I’ve learned during all my years of NaNo:
- If you’re a plotter, plot. If you’re a panster, pants. NaNo is NOT the time to try a new style.
- Set up your writing space and KEEP IT SET UP. Don’t give yourself any excuse to get up and do something else.
- If sprinting works for you, sprint. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t sprint just to get the word count up. 50k of nonsense really isn’t going to help you. (If you want to sprint, writeordie.com has a free sprint thingy.)
- If you absolutely need to edit in order to keep writing, limit yourself to the last page you wrote. No more than a few hundred words. I understand that editing slows you down, but if not editing is going to slow you down even more, edit smart.
- Be willing to break the rules if that’s what helps you. Need to work on multiple projects? Do it. Need to work on an old project? Do it. There are no NaNo police, guys. The point is to get writing.
- If writing with other people helps, WRITE WITH OTHER PEOPLE. If it’s just distraction, don’t write with other people.
- Turn off the internet, especially if you’re prone to distraction. If you sit down and actually focus on writing, 1700 words won’t take too long. If you allow yourself to be distracted, you turn NaNo into an all-day, every-day affair, which it doesn’t have to be.
- Let yourself have treats. (That candy I mentioned, for example.) Create some reward systems to push for, as well. We all respond better to the carrot than to the stick. And, plus, there’s no reason to punish yourself. Punishment doesn’t help creativity (I mean… unless you’re into BDSM, or something. In which case, does that make the stick… the carrot? I need to ponder this.), and creativity is what we want.
- Above all, DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. Writing more is the goal. Even if you don’t follow the rules, you win if you write because you’re one step closer to completing your project.
So. That’s it for me. I’m The Lady C over at NaNo if you want to be my buddy! Come watch me not follow my own rules, lol.